It has been a rough offseason for Dennis Schroder.
Coming off his first campaign with the Lakers, the unrestricted free agent was hoping to land a lucrative contract, whether from Los Angeles or another franchise. Well, more than a week removed from the official start of NBA free agency, Schroder remains unsigned.
With all of the cap space around the league evaporating, Schroder will likely have to accept a modest deal, show his value during the 2021-22 season and enter free agency again next year. ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported Tuesday that the Celtics have offered Schroder a one-year deal at the $5.9 million taxpayer midlevel exception. The 27-year-old wants the full midlevel exception ($9.5 million), per Schultz, but Boston isn’t interested in being hard-capped.
That low number is disappointing enough on its own for Schroder, who averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game with the Lakers last season. But the fact that he turned down a significant contract from Los Angeles a few months ago just adds insult to injury.
Back in March, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted on his podcast that Schroder had rejected a four-year, $84 million extension from the Lakers. The specifics of the deal are unclear, but even if that total amount wouldn’t have been fully guaranteed, it certainly would have eclipsed anything Schroder will receive now.
From the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy, who spoke to a league source about discussions between the Celtics and Schroder:
The Celtics have pitched Schroder the idea of backing up Marcus Smart next season.
“He needs time — I think he’s in a state of shock because of what he’s done,” the source said of Schroder turning down a four-year, $84 million offer last season from the Lakers, who responded by trading for Russell Westbrook.
Betting on yourself looks great when everything works out in the end. When it doesn’t, uh, it looks like this.
UPDATE: Schroder is heading to Boston on a one-year, $5.9 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.